The American Citizen Services Unit provides notarial services during normal working hours by appointment only. Appointments must be made online at the ACS Appointment System Website. Please click here to make an appointment.
Notarial services provided by the Embassy are primarily for the benefit of American citizens and legal permanent residents. Foreign nationals may also have documents notarized, but only if the documents will be used in the United States. A fee of $50 is required for each seal.
Requirements for Notary Services:
- Have government-issued photo ID;
- Understand your document. We are not allowed to explain the contents to you;
- Complete the document with the appropriate names, places, and dates before you arrive (but don’t sign it; you’ll sign it at the Embassy in front of a Consul);
- Pay the appropriate fee. We accept cash payments only in U.S. dollars or Lao Kip.
- If your document requires the presence of witnesses in addition to the notarization, you must supply these witnesses. Our staff cannot act as witnesses.
- We can only provide notary services for American citizens, legal permanent residents or when the documents to be notarized will be used in the United States. We are usually unable to notarize documents brought in by foreign nationals to be used outside of the U.S.
Types of Notarial Services
An affidavit is a sworn statement. Affidavits may be used in many different situations for many different purposes. Using our blank affidavit form (PDF 70.5 KB), write out your statement, but do not sign the form. You will need to sign it in front of a Consul.
Fee: $50 for each affidavit.
We provide the following types of affidavits:
Income Affidavit: Update: The Thai government requires all U.S. citizens with Thai retirement visas to verify their income when they renew their retirement visa annually. Staring from July 2014, the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane unfortunately cannot assist you in obtaining this Income affidavit, as the Thai government will not accept them. Please note that beginning January 01, 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok the U.S. Consulate in Chieng Mai will also no longer provide this service. For more details please contact them directly on the below addresses:
U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai
387 Witchayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Affidavit that you are legally free to marry
Lao law requires all foreigners who marry Lao nationals in Laos, to first prepare a sworn Affidavit of Marriage. If you would like to use the affidavit of marriage prepared by the Embassy, Marriage Affidavit (PDF 117 KB), please check with the authorities first to confirm that it meets their requirements. The affidavit(s) must then be notarized by their own country’s embassy, affirming that they are legally free to marry.
Here you can find out about requirements for getting married in Laos (PDF 108 KB)
Fee: $50 for the affidavit of marriage; an additional $50 for the second affidavit.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows you to designate someone to take legal action on your behalf. A common example of this is empowering someone else to buy or sell property in the U.S. in your name while you are overseas. We cannot advise you on the specific language or content of a power of attorney, so you may wish to consult a lawyer or other appropriate advisor before coming to see us to have your power of attorney notarized.
Blank Power of Attorney forms are available online (PDF 170 KB), or you may use one supplied to you by your attorney, bank, or company.
Please fill out the form before you come to our offices, but do not sign it in advance. You will sign in the presence of a Consul.
Fee: $50 for each Power of Attorney.
Acknowledgement of Signature
An Acknowledgement of Signature or Acknowledgement of Execution is a notary which verifies that a particular person signed a given document. It is often used for legal agreements, business documents, etc. It is also used when more than two signatures are required on the document but all of the parties who must sign are not present. We can notarize (or acknowledge) only the signatures of those who are present to sign in front of us or appear in front of us and verify that they have signed the document.
Fee: $50 for each document or seal.
In rare instances, the Consular Section may be able to provide the following service:
- Authentication: An authentication is the certification of the genuineness of a signature of a notary or government official. Documents that may require an authentication include legal instruments notarized by foreign notaries.
Please note that the Consular Section is not authorized to certify copies of documents issued by a foreign or domestic agency. To obtain certifications in these cases, please have the office that issued the documents certify them.
What happens if my document requires a witness?
If your document needs a witness, you should plan to provide the necessary witness or you may be able to find someone in the ACS waiting room that is willing to act in that capacity. If no one is available in the waiting room to act as a witness, you may need to postpone the notary. The consular officer and local staff are not permitted to act as witnesses.
Why was my notary refused?
Consular officers can refuse to perform a notarial service if they have reason to believe that the document will be used for purpose patently unlawful or not in the best interests on the United States. In addition, consular officers can postpone a notarial if the customer cannot demonstrate that he or she understands the nature and language of the document and comprehends the significance of the act, or in cases where the signatory is acting under duress.
Signature (or “Medallion”) Guarantees
A Medallion Signature Guarantee is not a notarial service, but rather a special procedure related to securities, which can only be performed by an authorized representative of a financial institution participating in a medallion program approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). U.S. consular officers are not authorized to provide a signature guarantee/medallion guarantee service.
For more information, please visit the State Department’s website